At the end of the two week State of Emergency (that ended 9 April), Vanuatu is assured that it has no suspected and no confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, a pandemic that has affected more than 200 countries in the world to date.
“I would like to reiterate that we currently have no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Vanuatu,” said Russel Tamata, Medical Focal Point of COVID-19. “And with each day that passes, we can be more and more assured of no cases. If, by chance, there is a case we now have the systems in place to detected, test and isolate the case”.
The Health Cluster continues working tirelessly to implement a response plan across five key objective areas under the containment phase. These include: coordination of emergency response mechanism; prevention and mitigation of infections; risk communication; early detection and isolation; and clinical management of suspected and confirmed cases.
Key achievements to highlight to date include:
Ramping up of public health and awareness activities including five public health teams together with government agencies and partner organisations reaching at least 12,000 people in Port Vila with many more in the provinces.
Successful management of quarantined citizens and residents who have now been released.
A revamped isolation facility at VCH.
Beefing up of surveillance and response to ensure that any suspected cases are quickly detected and isolated.
A mass media campaign using SMS, newspapers, free websites, and an information hotline that received over 4,000 calls and questions from the public.
All Health Provincial Emergency Operations Centres activated and operational to coordinate any response at the provincial level.
"Through the support of our partners, so much has been achieved” stated Russel Tamata. “It is important to be cautiously optimistic. Communities are encouraged to continue practicing good hand and cough hygiene, maintain a safe social distance, and stay home if sick,” said Russel Tamata.
“At this time, the Ministry of Health thanks all the citizens and residents of the Republic of Vanuatu for your cooperation and support over the past two weeks of the State of Emergency. We understand that it has not been easy to have your life disrupted in many ways,” said Mr. Tamata He added, “We acknowledge all who have been working tirelessly to protect the health and well-being of the population of Vanuatu”.
"Category 5 TC Harold has hit the northern part of the country. Our faith, the resilience and strength of our people is needed to get us through this like it has done many times before”, said Russel Tamata.
The Health Cluster continues to be alert in its preparedness and response to COVID-19 in Vanuatu while also working with partners to respond to severe category 5 Tropical Cyclone Harold.